Chapter 22, Subchapter C, of the Texas Education Code (TEC) requires school districts and charter schools to ensure that certain individuals are fingerprinted to undergo a statutorily-required national criminal history records review, and that other individuals undergo a name-based criminal history record information review. In addition, superintendents of districts and chief operating officers of open-enrollment charter schools are required to certify annually that the district or charter school has complied with TEC Section 22.085. Please complete, sign, notarize, and return the attached form to TEA by April 19, 2013.
Statement of District or Charter School Compliance with Chapter 22, Subchapter C and Section 22.085(f) Affidavit of Superintendent or Chief Operating Officer – Attachment A
Superintendents for districts and chief operating officers for open-enrollment charters must complete and sign the attached Statement of Compliance with Chapter 22, Subchapter C, and return it to TEA by April 19, 2013. By signing the form, the district or charter school is assuring TEA that all Chapter 22, Subchapter C, requirements related to fingerprinting and criminal history background reviews have been performed by the district or charter school.
Under TEC Section 22.085(f), superintendents for districts and chief operating officers for open-enrollment charter schools are required to certify to the Commissioner that the district or charter school has complied with the specific requirements set forth in that section. This certification must be signed and notarized and returned to the agency by April 19, 2013.
Section 22.085 requires a school district, open-enrollment charter school or shared services arrangement to discharge or refuse to hire an employee or applicant for employment if the district, open-enrollment charter school or shared services arrangement obtains information through a criminal history record information review that the employee or prospective employee has been convicted of certain offenses.
If an educator knows or should have known, through a criminal history record information review, that an employee or applicant has been convicted of certain offenses, as set forth in TEC Section 22.085(a), and the educator retains the employee or hires the applicant, the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) may impose a sanction on the educator.
Sanctions for Noncompliance
Districts and charter schools that fail to comply with the requirements listed in this letter are also subject to further compliance review, which may include a special accreditation investigation (SAI) under TEC § 39.057.
Pursuant to TEC Section 39.057(d), the results of an SAI permit the TEA commissioner to:
- Sanction a school district under TEC Subchapter E (Accreditation Interventions and Sanctions);
- Lower the accreditation status or the accountability rating of a school district; or
- Sanction and lower the status and rating of a school district under 1 and 2 above.
Pursuant to TEC Subchapter E, the Commissioner may take any of the following actions in connection with violations of TEC Chapter 22, Subchapter C, after an SAI is concluded:
- Issue a public notice of the criminal background check compliance deficiencies;
- Order a hearing to be conducted by the school district or charter school to notify the public of criminal background check compliance deficiencies; and/or
- Appoint an agency monitor, conservator, or management team for the school district or charter school.
Attached to this letter, please find the form referenced above that needs to be returned to TEA by April 19, 2013 as well as additional information on the Chapter 22, Subchapter C, requirements.
NOTE: Districts and charter schools that fail to return both forms by April 19, 2013 will be placed on the Fingerprinting Requirements Non-Compliance list located on TEA’s website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147508546.
Please submit both forms to:
Texas Education Agency
Jeannie Tomasek, Educator Leadership and Quality
1701 N. Congress Avenue, Suite 5-100
Austin, Texas 78701
If you have any questions regarding this letter please contact Dr. Janice Lopez, Director of Educator Certification, Standards, and Fingerprinting, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 936-8226.
Attachment A - Statement of compliance with chapter 22 fingerprinting and criminal background check requirements
Attachment B - Fingerprinting procedures for employees and classroom substitutes